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What Is a Horn Tweeter?

Troy Holmes
Troy Holmes

Tweeters are small speakers that play extremely high frequencies. A horn tweeter is a speaker that is enclosed in a horn-shaped cone. The horn design makes the tweeter play a loud, clear sound that can be heard from a greater distance than standard speakers. Horn tweeters have been used for many decades because they are louder than normal speakers.

Several types of tweeter designs are used in speakers. Some of the most popular include the dome, horn, and cone tweeters. While all of these tweeters have a unique sound, the horn tweeter is the only speaker that can produce low frequencies because it is enclosed in a special horn-shaped box. The box produces a unique sound that is similar to playing the low frequencies heard with a midrange speaker.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A horn tweeter's shape makes directional sounds similar to a megaphone. The tweeter is louder than normal because the sound reflects against the horn and shoots out in the direction of the speaker. Horn loudspeakers were first invented as a way of producing more sound with less power. The first phonograph used a horn design to project the music played for a record. Today, horn speakers are most often used in large intercom systems because they can be heard from a great distance.

With the evolution of audio speakers and stereo receivers, horn tweeter designs have become less necessary. Most modern receivers have powerful amplifiers that can play life-like sounds through normal dome speakers. These modern systems give a homeowner the ability to play music at levels that were once reserved for music recording studios.

Audio receivers can play music through many types of speakers. This typically includes a combination of larger woofers, midrange, and tweeter speakers. The tweeters are special speakers that are designed to only play high frequencies. These speakers should include special filters that protect the speakers from playing low frequency tones. Without this filter, the speakers may play low frequencies that can permanently damage and destroy the speaker.

A horn tweeter is normally part of a large speaker unit called a three-way speaker. These speakers include a bass, midrange, and tweeter. The tweeter normally sits at the top of the speaker box and is enclosed in a special protective horn-shaped casing. This type of tweeter design makes the speakers more powerful because the three-way speakers can play all the frequencies within one speaker box.

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